Wildfires in B.C. Cariboo combine to create province's largest blaze
This year has been the worst wildfire season on record in B.C.
A handful of small fires in B.C.'s west Cariboo region have merged to create what is now the largest fire in the province.
The B.C. Wildfire Service says the Plateau wildfire, northwest of Williams Lake, is estimated to be about 438,000 hectares and 130 kilometres from one end to the other.
Fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said the fire hasn't grown significantly in size, but several wildfires burning since about July 7 have now joined together.
"It is a challenge just logistically and operationally when it's covering such a huge area," Skrepnek said.
"We've got two separate teams now managing it because it's such a large incident."
The wildfire service says there are currently about 137 fires burning across the province. Twelve of them started Saturday. This year has been the worst wildfire season on record.
The Hanceville-Riske Creek fire, the second-largest in the province, is now estimated at 227,000 hectares, but is now 25 per cent contained. And the Elephant Hill wildfire is estimated to be about 168,000 hectares.
Skrepnek said a new wildfire near Harrison Lake has attracted a lot of attention because of all the smoke, but because of its remote location it's not considered to be a wildfire of note.
Firefighters were bracing for the worst this weekend after Environment Canada forecasted wind and lightning for Friday and Saturday. But Skrepnek said they "dodged a bullet" when those conditions didn't turn out as bad as anticipated.
However, he said another cold front bringing winds and lightning is expected for the Interior beginning next Wednesday.